I realise with surprise, at times, that I am a mother, and that I have a child. No longer a baby, but a girl, a daughter. Daughters. The word catches in my throat, and my heart drops into the pit of my stomach where it knots, making my head spin. Like a player at a roulette wheel,waiting for the deciding moment when the dream, the beautiful dream, may be swept away.
The moment passes, and I know, with your heads resting in the nooks of my arms, I know that this is forever, you will always be mine. My baby, my child, my daughters. In making you, you remake me.
My beautiful girls. So in love with the life that they bring into my days.
215/366 – First Friends
Aviya and Harry – South African friends came round for a South African food day, which happened to fall on South Africa’s ‘National Women’s Day’. Just loved the shared snuggles and making friends.
216/366 – Purple Eyes, Like Mama
Okay, don’t judge me! I went out a few days ago and wore make-up. I know… once upon a time that was the norm. Anyway, since then, Ameli’s been saying ‘I want purple eyes, Mama, like you.’ Well, we did it, she wore it for a few hours and she’s not asked again since. But she enjoyed it. She did walk around all afternoon going, “Look Mama, I’m Luschka” though, which was rather sweet.
217/366 – Granny And Grandpa
The inlaws came for a visit. It’s so lovely seeing them – they are just really great people.
218/366 – My First Sensory Box
Aviya doesn’t sit up unassisted yet, which really bugs me! By this age, Ameli was crawling already! But then, I always used to say that she robbed me of a ‘babyhood’ since she did everything so fast, so I don’t know why I’m complaining now! Anyway, if she could sit up she’d have a lot more fun, but since she doesn’t, she flops over a lot. I gave her a box of ribbons to play with, and she tried to eat the box and then the ribbons, and then she flopped over, but at least she had fun for a few minutes.
219/366 – Picnic Baby
We walked to a local friend’s house, and Ameli and her son played while Aviya watched. Such a cutie though.
220/366 – Garden Centre Fish
I took the girls out for a walk at our local garden centre with another friend, and just snapped pictures as we went along. Here’s Ameli looking in the mirror (what a stunning picture, right?), and the next one is Aviya getting a pedicure* from the koi fish. She wasn’t sure about it!
*They just nibbled at her toes, not painful, not a real pedicure.
What else has been happening in the world this week? Let me know!
My darling Aviya
You’re five months old today. Five months. Five months. I say the words out loud and I struggle to believe them. I write them down and they look wrong, feel wrong. Where has the time gone?! Have I held on to enough? Can I recall your scent? Will the memory of your hand clutching my little finger live with me forever? I fear I’m already forgetting every moment that wasn’t captured on film. How has it gone so fast?
I’ve learned so much about myself in the last few months. Things I’d never have known if it wasn’t for motherhood, and if it wasn’t for you. For one thing, I’ve learned that you can pick yourself up and drag yourself out and confront the world with a smile when you’ve got something – someone – for whom you have to ‘go on’. I’ve also learned that I’m made of pretty strong stuff.I knew the transition from no children to one would be huge, and I know that it was thoroughly life changing for me, in every facet of human-ness, but I had no idea that the move from one to two would be equally big, in entirely different ways.
I just hope that having gone back to work, no matter how ‘part time’ it has been, so early on hasn’t had an effect, negatively, on you.
I don’t think so though. Honey, you are the smiliest baby ever. You wake up and stare at the ceiling for a while, gurgling and being happy. It’s a foreign concept to me. Also, unlike your big sister, you are perfectly happy to lie there, watching the world go by, and then, perhaps, in a while, have some milk. It’s rather bizarre!
Everyone always asks me if you’re a ‘good’ baby. Of course you are. I mean, you’re a baby, you can’t even sit up yet. There’s not really a lot you can do ‘wrong’ in a prone position! Pedantics aside though, you are such a contended child. It’s an honour being your mama. You’re the baby books are written about!
You have a realy laid back and relaxed character. Nothing really phases you, and you smile at the drop of a hat.
Ameli adores you. The biggest threat to your safety is her all-consuming, overwhelming hugs. She lies on top of you, with her arm around your neck, and you rarely stand a chance! She loves lying next to you, picking you up onto her belly, then rolling over you and bringing you back up again. It gives me a heart attack every time, but you just smile at her, even laugh at her sometimes, which is total encouragement to her to do it again!
You’re not sitting or crawling yet, but you’re trying really hard to. In fact, you get so frustrated when you’re lying on your back straining your head, arms and legs in an attempt to get up. It’s quite funny, actually, and so endearing. You have managed to ‘scoot’ yourself off the bed twice though, so I’ve put you in the travel cot for the early parts of the evenings now.
Your wide, open-mouthed smile is gorgeous, it lights up your face. It stops strangers on the street. Everyone that meets you comments on your beautiful eyes and your amazing smile.
You’ve started ‘chatting’ to yourself, which is superbly cute. You say the ‘goo-goo’s and every now and then you’ll throw in a ‘da-da-da’. I love it. You’re so beautiful.
I was worried, once, that your ‘firsts’ wouldn’t be such a big deal, since we’ve been through ‘firsts’ before, but no, it’s not like that. Every time you do something new, I feel a thrill, an absolute wave of pure, unadulterated, unbridled joy. I have so much pride wash over me when you reach over and grab a new toy, or when you learned to jump in the jumperoo, or when you roll yourself over.
I smile at, and because of you, all the time. It’s just wonderful being part of your life. I regularly look at you and thank God for giving us you. I thank you for choosing us. I thank you for coming to us. At least once a day I close my eyes and breathe you in, trying to capture, and to remember these days, these moments.
I try to remember how you grab my breast with both your hands when you’re nursing. I want to remember how you hold on to my nursing necklace sometimes, and how you love playing with it. I want to remember how you like lying on top of my nursing as I rock you to sleep.
A few weeks ago you were asleep on my shoulder and you put your arm around my neck. A purposeful placement and I melted. I love that. I remember doing that with my dad and feeling so secure in his arms. I hope you feel secure in mine.
I am overwhelmed, sometimes, by the awesomeness of motherhood, by the magnitude of a love I spent 30 years not knowing I was even missing out on. I wouldn’t change a thing about who you are, about who you are to me.
I heard a quote about birth this week that I loved:
“The instant of birth is exquisite. Pain and joy are one at this moment. Ever after, the dim recollection is so sweet that we speak to our children with a gratitude they never understand.” ~Madeline Tiger
I think that’s true of being your mother too – I will forever have a gratitude to both my girls that neither of you will understand, until perhaps, you hold your own babies in your arms.
I love you so much